cultivating courage in your business and life.

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I was that kid who was always muddy.

I loved adventure and taking risks. Skateboarding (awfully), surfing (if standing on a board for all of three seconds and then falling counts), singing Busted’s version of ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ in front of my Brownie squadron in a so-embarrassing-I-can’t-possibly-describe-it top from Tammy (I got all of the words wrong and my Leader told me I should ‘leave the singing for the home’). I spent most of my weekends with my best mate on bike rides, pretending that we were two americans who had run away from home- every so often breaking into song and dance (yeah, I can’t really explain that in any other way than ‘too much Disney Channel’).

Even if I knew I wasn’t the best, I still tried my damned hardest. I still showed up.

When I hit 12 and depression and anxiety became my new adventure, my courage dwindled. I became scared of everything. I stopped going out for bike rides in fear I’d get taken. I would run and hide when the doorbell rang, heart pumping and palms sweating. I never spoke on the phone. I slept with a light on. I became so insecure and anxious around other people that I stopped going to school. In all honesty, these fears and anxieties didn’t really let up until I moved to Brighton at 17 -- plus a few years after that.

It wasn’t until I started my first business, LH design, that I felt a smidgen of courage within myself. The more I’d work and the more that work would get paid off, my courage and bravery would grow. I started coming out of my shell; I’d approach potential wholesale stockists with confidence and hardly any self-doubt; I’d put myself forward for opportunities I probably wasn’t qualified for but knew I could only try; I’d start to allow myself to be brave even in the face of adversity.

I was, and am, still quite an anxious person. I need a lie-down after a couple of hours of socialising and the phone still freaks me out a bit but starting my business helped me to become adventurous again. Now, my family are quite literally astounded. They can't understand how I've gone from that girl petrified of the doorbell to someone who can talk in front of hundreds of people and honestly, neither can I. But I do know that the courage to live life on my own terms has come from knowing that this is my only option if I truly want to be happy and fulfilled. There is no option B or back-up plan. I simply have to be courageous if I want to live the life I desire and deserve.

Bravery doesn’t mean the absence of fear- it’s perfectly normal and healthy to have fears. What’s not healthy is when our fear forces us into inaction; when it stops us from reaching our version of success. Bravery is about how you use fear to realise exciting ideas and propel you forward.

How can you be the bravest version of yourself in your life and business, right now? Perhaps it’s by opening your laptop and just doing the work. Maybe it’s by saying no to an opportunity that doesn’t align with your brand’s values or mission. It could even be you putting your hands up and asking for help. Whatever it is, just know that you are capable of all of the things you desire. Be the very best version of you, fear and all.


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Lola Hoad1 Comment